PM Modi in Rajya Sabha: 'Encephalitis Deaths Shame Us...Need to Strengthen Ayushman Bharat'
PM Modi in Rajya Sabha | (Photo Credits: RSTV/Screengrab)

New Delhi, June 26: Reacting to the spree of deaths due to acute encephalitis syndrome in Bihar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that the high number of fatalities is a matter of "shame". According to the PM, strengthening the Ayushman Bharat or the universal healthcare scheme will combat such crisis.

"The deaths in Bihar due to acute encephalitis syndrome are unfortunate and a matter of shame for us. We have to take this seriously,"Modi said, as the death toll has jumped to nearly 150 in Bihar. PM Reacts to Jharkhand Lynching Case, Here's What He Said.

Modi said he is monitoring the condition in Muzaffarpur district -- the epicentre of encephalitis deaths in the state. The Prime Minister is also coordinating with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

"I am in constant touch with the state government and I am sure we will collectively come out of this crisis soon," he said.

In the future, such crisis could be effectively addressed through the Ayushman Bharat programme, Modi said. The scheme, unveiled by the Centre earlier this year, would cover 10 crore households in India upto Rs 5 lakh per annum.

"The need of the hour is to strengthen Ayushman Bharat. We want our poor to get the best quality and affordable medical treatment," he added.